How Slot Machines Work

If there is a listing of the most popular games ever played, both online and in bricks and mortar casinos, slot machines must feature prominently. As much as slot casino games have been a dominant factor in most casino lobbies, a lot needs to be learned, and appreciated, about the functionality of these machines.

The Basics of Slot Machines

Modern slots are different from the traditional mechanical slots. Mechanical slots relied on springs to determine where the reels would stop. New machines use electronic methods to decide the outcome of the spin. Read on to learn more about how modern slot machines work.

There is no significant difference between how classic slot machines, and online slot games, work. After a player successfully places a bet, by pressing the spin button, the software takes over and generates random results. The random nature of slots results means that it is a game of pure chances.

Random Number Generators and The Role They Play in Slots Games

Slots machines use a random number generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of the results. The RNG becomes active as soon as the slots machine is turned. The beauty of using a random number generator is that it cannot be influenced by outside factors, even the casino itself. Casino operators work with independent testing bodies, and industry regulators, to ensure the results displayed by their slots machines are free from interference.

To help you understand how the RNG works, we picked a standard five-line slot machine. In this case, when a player presses the “spin” button, the random number generator automatically selects a set of five numbers and stores them in its memory. The slot machine then uses the numbers to display the corresponding position of each reel in quick succession.


Besides what goes on behind the wheels, it is a well-known fact that casinos have some edge over players. While this is a natural law of business, slot machines are designed to offer their players sure winnings. This is evidenced by the Return to Player (RTP) percentage or the “payback percentage.” This figure is used to show how much money goes back to the player. Slots games with a high RTP, tend to be more generous than those that don’t. An RTP of 97%, means that players get, for every $100 wagered, $ 97 returned, and the remaining $3 are the earnings of the casino.

Slot machines have come a long way, regarding features, design, and jackpot winnings. Besides the improvements made on classic slots, this industry is now dominated by online variants of this game. The design and style may constantly evolve, but the initial principle remains the same.